Please allow me to introduce myself…

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste. OK, well I’m certainly not wealthy and my taste when it comes to hobby is questionable but HELLO!

I’m Russ and i’m a plasticaholic. It’s a thing. Or at least it should be. Perhaps I need to start a group.

I’ve been a fan of Warhammer and all it’s myriad incarnations on and off for around 24 years. At 14, I spent the summer at my friends house and they had recently received a copy of Warhammer 40000, which would later be referred to as 2nd edition. I fell in love with the box art. Mighty, armoured warriors in red, beset on all sides by green skinned aliens, curiously dressed like Vikings.

I had already dabbled with building Airfix WWII aircraft so to see a game, that required you to build and paint futuristic soldiers really captured my imagination. I remember clearly that summer, badly painting our models in colours approximate to the box art, and then taking them outside on to the front garden where we played our first games. I have since dubbed this period of games ‘Lawnhammer’.

I was hooked. I began saving any money I received from my family and anything I earned ‘sticking up’. No, I didn’t don a neckerchief around my face and hold up stagecoaches. I was the kid who sat at the end of a skittles alley in social clubs and stood the pins back up. It was a nice little earner for someone of my age. Some nights I would consider it danger money. Some of those guys would hammer the balls down the lane and I was often seen ducking from stray balls or pins.

I took my savings periodically to a FLGS in my town (still there today – Antics in Stroud). I bought boxes of troops, tanks, and various blister packs. I’ve still got many of these models to this day.

The lads on the podcast are already aware of this but my first army was… the Ultramarines. I was painting blue armoured warrior monks way before it became cool to hate on them. At the time I chose them for one reason. They were Blue. I thought I was a special snowflake… surely everyone else was painting their marines red. But I had seen a blue marine on one of the leaflets included in the 2nd Ed box and they were the marines for me.

I’ve theorised why there is so much ‘Ultra-hate’ in one of our previous episodes you should check them out.

Now, dates and the passage of time are something that I struggle with so I can’t say exactly when I started collecting Imperial Guard (or Astra Militarum as they’re now known), but I remember buying the Mordian Iron Guard box and a blister of some additional special weapons for my Birthday. My brother, who had begun to dabble with Orks, picked up a box of Tallarn Desert Raiders and we spent time painting and playing with our models. We pitted my Ultramarines and Mordians against his Orks, including Ghazghull, and Tallarn. We didn’t use the rules, we made it up as we went along but we still had a blast.

In the years since, like many of us, interests change. You take an interest in girls (or boys or both), discover beer and other substances. Perhaps you get married, have children, travel a little. Inevitably, hobby takes a back seat. I’ve had several of these periods myself but one thing is always true. The hobby will be there waiting for you when you’re ready.

Fast forward to March 2018. I had a big change in my personal life and I needed something to help me cope. I had moved to Nottingham and purely by chance, drove past Warhammer World. My eyes lit up. I remembered that summer, building and painting little plastic models. I was 14 again.

I went in the following week on my own, unsure of how I would be received, or how I would feel. I was a fully grown man, divorced with two kids. I had seen some shit. But here I was, as anxious and nervous in the same way as when I faced the death slide for the first time at some adventure park as a kid. I mean, there was a scale Rhino in the car park… what was I walking in to? Well, I can tell you I walked into a building of wonder. Friendly faces everywhere. Helpful staff. A bloody huge gaming hall. Boxes and boxes and boxes of models. I’m not a religious man but my inner nerd felt that this is what heaven could have been like.

It’s been two years since my first visit. I’ve painted lots of models and bought even more. I even got to play my first games of Kill Team, Necromunda, and Adeptus Titanicus. I even got to play the former at Warhammer World in a narrative event. I teamed up with my mate against a really nice guy that helped us along. We got trounced but had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

I’m definitely a hobby butterfly in that I buy loads of kits, build half and maybe paint half and then buy something else. I always swear to myself that I’ll go back and finish but as I’ve discovered recently, that rarely happens. I’m currently going through a bit of a clear-out and when I do buy things, its for a specific project.

The guys on the show know me to be an enabler. I’m never going to tell them not to buy something. I will always extol the virtues of armies or particular kits or game systems to the point where they sometimes think that I work for GW (I don’t… I can but dream). Basically, I’m the creature on your shoulder that tells you to give in to your hobby impulses, all the while trying to curb my own. I love all aspects of the hobby whether it be building, painting, playing, or reading the lore.

I’m also known to be quite passionate about certain subjects, some of which ‘trigger’ me, much to the delight of my co-hosts as I can rant a bit. If you’re somehow reading this and haven’t listened to the show, I urge you to check it out. We’re just 4 guys from different areas with a common interest. We’d love it if you joined us.